The Evolving World of Work
5 KEY TRENDS FOR POST-PANDEMIC CUSTOMER SERVICE
The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly and dramatically transformed the way we work, almost overnight. As lockdowns ease, the acute challenges will fade. But it’s clear that there is no going back to normal. This watershed experience has reset agent and customer service expectations — and accelerated several already-occurring shifts in the contact center world. How can contact centers prepare for this new landscape of agent and customer experience? What does working remotely mean for the future of the contact center? We surveyed 300 contact center professionals — and gathered original tips and insights from experienced thought leaders in the contact center and customer experience world.
Get to know the experts
3 in 4
The workplace has changed
3 in 4 survey respondents agree that the post-pandemic workplace will be very different
Customer service has changed
63% say customer service will be approached differently after the pandemic
The contact center is more important than ever
84% believe the pandemic permanently elevated the importance of the contact center for their business
A New Standard in Customer Experience
The pandemic forced consumers to interact with organizations in completely new ways, accelerating already-emerging shifts in customer experience expectations.
TOP 4 CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS NOW
Seamless Multichannel Communication
To Feel Heard by
Audrey William, Principal Advisor, Ecosystm
"Not all customers will want to walk into a retail store now or call a contact centre. Therefore contact centers have a role in enabling customers to reach them through more digital channels beyond voice, email and SMS. This is the time to invest in digital channels and technologies such as Conversational AI to drive CX. You need to rethink how to personalise the experience. For example, how can you personalize the experience for your customer on WhatsApp, WeChat, LINE, Facebook etc? How can the FAQ on your website have more information? Are you making the Mobile App experience richer? Are you making sure all your digital channels are aligned?"
Jay Baer, Customer Experience & Marketing Expert
“Clarity is the most important element as we shape the next normal. What was assumed in the past is no longer a safe assumption in many cases. Hours of operation. Product availability. Returns policy. And a LOT more. Today, the world of CX starts by making sure your customer re-learns how to buy from you, and how your business operates.”
Dick Bucci, Founder & Principal Analyst, Pelorus Associates
"The pandemic situation confirms the superiority of human agents versus self-service. During these past 90 days contact center personnel have had to adopt to rapid changes in company policies, services, and products. No automated system can be as adaptive, responsive, and empathetic as a trained and committed customer service representative."
Shep Hyken, Chief Amazement Officer, Shepard Presentations
“Be reachable the way your customers want to reach you; phone, SMS, app, email, etc. – and then have the ability to switch channels seamlessly without having to make the customer repeat information. It is all about creating a convenient, low-friction and low-effort service and support experience."
James Dodkins, CX Rockstar
"Here’s my checklist of 5 things to remember about CX in the post-lockdown landscape:
1. Technology is important but it’s not the most important thing
2. Be there for customers. If you can’t be there for your customers in the bad times, don’t expect them to be there for you in the good times.
3. Needs have shifted, understand them and pivot to deliver them
4. Keep on top of rapidly shifting expectations and work to meet them. Exceeding them would be great — but at minimum, meet them.
5. How you deal with this situation will be a defining moment in your company’s history, don’t underestimate this."
Workforce Flexibility is Here to Stay
The pandemic rapidly accelerated the shift toward remote work and flexible hours. Contact centers are already seeing the benefits — to both employees and their businesses — of a more flexible work environment.
say a remote environment will continue long term
plan to continue flex hours long term
FLEXIBLE WORK DRIVES ESSENTIAL BUSINESS VALUE
72% say agents are happy working remotely
47% believe remote working will drive long term service flexibility
73% of managers are satisfied with their remote employees’ productivity
HALF expect to realize operational cost savings through continuing a remote work environment
47% believe enabling remote work will increase employee retention
Workforce Engagement Will Drive Performance
The pandemic reinforced a simple truth: A contact center’s greatest asset is the quality of its people. No matter where employees are working, contact centers are increasingly recognizing that investing in the skills, job engagement and performance of their people delivers value to their customers and to the business. Moreover, as the pandemic barrels down on world economies, businesses are forced into survival mode. Cutting back is a large part of surviving, but even in this uncertain time, businesses are making smart investments to optimize costs while keeping employees engaged from afar.
7 in 10
contact center managers believe that improved employee engagement will drive cost optimization
STEPPING UP INTERACTION EVALUATIONS
1 in 3
contact centers have
INCREASED their evaluations
are using predictive analytics and automation to
enhance Quality Monitoring and WEM
Contact Center Intelligence has Become Mission-Critical
The pandemic revealed a largely unmet need in most businesses: the ability to understand the voice of the customer in real time — and use that knowledge to drive agile, customer-centric strategies.
of contact managers expect
HIGHER DEMAND FOR CONTACT CENTER ANALYTICS
insights from every department
1 in 4
contact centers are not
collecting the VOC insights they need
DELIVERING BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE ACROSS THE ORGANIZATION
9 in 10
contact centers are maintaining or increasing their investment in
BUILDING BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE PLATFORMS
Agility is the Key Ingredient
Perhaps the most essential takeaway from the pandemic is that the future will be defined by rapid evolution — in what customers want, what technologies make it possible, and what unexpected challenges it will require. The pandemic experience has exposed the need for nimble, agile technologies that integrate easily and adapt rapidly — so businesses are prepared for whatever comes next.
CLOUD-BASED SOFTWARE UNLOCKS CRITICAL AGILITY
1 in 10
contact centers made the move to fully cloud-based either before or during the pandemic
plan to increase cloud utilization to enhance agility
Read the Full Survey Report
The State of the Contact Center:
Embracing the Evolving World of Work
Embracing the Evolving World of Work
How Leading Contact Centers are Turning Forced Changes into Future-Ready Strategies
Get to Know the Experts
Customer Experience & Marketing Expert
Meghan M. Biro
Founder & CEO, TalentCulture
President, Customer Bliss and co-founder of the Customer Experience Professionals Association
Chief Experience Officer, Officium Labs
Founder & Principal Analyst, Lopez Research
Principal Advisor, Ecosystm
Founder & Principal Analyst, McGee-Smith Analytics
Chief Amazement Officer, Shepard Presentations
Customer Experience Speaker, Trainer, Writer
Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research
Industry Director, Frost & Sullivan
CX Advisor & Best-Selling Author
Founder & Principal Analyst, Pelorus Associates